75th V.E. Day anniversary
Today, May 8, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of V. E. Day. On that date, Germany, the last axis European power, surrendered. Italy surrendered in 1943, Romania, Bulgaria and Finland in 1944 and Hungary earlier in 1945. Japan would surrender in September. All but one of the aggressors were defeated. The big one got away. It was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). World War II in Europe amounted to fighting Hitler by appeasing Stalin. To clarify, we first need to break up the Axis nations into two groups. The first was the Aggressor Group. It consisted of Japan, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria. The second was the Victimized group, nations attacked by the USSR and joined in the 1941 attack on that country to get back the land that Stalin stole from them, Finland and Romania.
The war began on September 1939 when Germany and the USSR invaded and carved up Poland. The United Kingdom (UK) and France only declared war on Germany. It was the first step in appeasing Stalin. The next step came when Stalin attacked Finland and took 10 percent of its territory. Aside from the USSR being expelled from the League of Nations, the UK and France did absolutely nothing. This action prompted Hitler to attack and occupy Denmark and Norway. Many Jews from those two countries went to and were given sanctuary in Finland. This attack on the three Baltic nations was the second appeasement.
Then next step was Hitler invading the BENELUX countries. Stalin invaded and annexed the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The UK and France did absolutely nothing. This was the third appeasement.
Hitler then invaded France and Petain took France out of the war.
Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and the USSR moved on the Balkan nations. Hungary, Bulgaria and the USSR took chunks of Romania. Britain did absolutely nothing, This was the fourth appeasement.
Later in 1941, Hitler double crossed Stalin and invaded the USSR. Joining Germany were 2 aggressor (Italy and Hungary) and the two victimized (Romania and Finland) nations. The latter joined in to get back the land that Stalin stole from them. Churchill declared war on them. He called Italy’s declaration of war “A stab in the back.” So it would seem was Churchill’s declaration of war against Finland and Romania. This was the fifth appeasement.
I am not minimizing the suffering that the people in the UK or USSR suffered from German attacks, nor those suffered in the countries Hitler occupied. But there was no reason to punish Finland and Romania. The USA never declared war on Finland, nor should they have.
The Axis powers lost and surrendered. Stalin was allowed to keep what he stole, and impose indemnities on Finland and Romania. After the surrender, he forced Czechoslovakia to hand over Ruthenia. The sixth appeasement.
After the end of hostilities, many of the Soviet citizens who spent the war in POW, slave labor or concentration camps were either shot or sent to a Gulag because they saw the West. When Stalin’s son became MIA, Stalin made no attempt to find him because of this.
At the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, so many times a prosecutor from the U.S., UK or France would accuse the German defendant of committing war atrocities, and the German defendant would simply point in the direction of the Soviet prosecutors and say something like “So did they”. Churchill said that he was determined to detach as much of Prussia from Germany as possible, because of its warlike history. How did he think the UK got its colonial empire?
Churchill initially opposed Irish independence and in 1936, supported Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia. After the war he initially opposed independence for the colonies.
While Romania had a persecution policy towards its minorities, Finland officially did not. While there were individuals who willingly helped Hitler, Finnish president Mannerheim gave Jews sanctuary. Finland was the only Axis nation to have Jews in its armed forces. Jews today still revel him in Finland.
The USSR got to communize much of Eastern Europe. A 6 year nightmare ended and a 45 year old nightmare began. All this happened because Chamberlin and Churchill appeased Stalin. Russia should give Finland back the land that Stalin stole from that country.
As a footnote, Finnish president, the George Washington of Finland was forced to leave his country and spend the rest of his life in Switzerland. He died in 1960. That year the U.S. Postal service issued a commemorative stamp rightfully honoring him as a champion of liberty.